Perhaps the confusion about throughput stems from the following facts:
The maximum data connection speed for a GSM channel _is_ 9600bps.
However, GSM (TDMA) supports the concept of channel aggregation for higher
data rates. TDMA can allow three channels to be combined for user data
rates of up to 28.8 bps. The question is whether any cellular providers in
Africa (or anywhere for that matter) are actually offering this service. I
haven't heard of it , has anyone else?
As far as throughput goes for a 9600 'connect', my understanding is that as
long as you are in a fixed position and can place the phone in location
that has reasonable reception, throughput is very close to 9600bps. Not
recommend is actually moving with a cellular modem as those hops between
nodes are a killer for data.
The IDRC has a few good resources on wireless networking, most notably "The
Wireless Toolbox" put together by Mike Jensen and the South African CSIR
which was published in January of this year:
The Wireless Toolbox: A Guide To Using Low-Cost Radio Communication
Systems for Telecommunication in Developing Countries - An African Perspective
Also, a report of a wireless networking experiment in South Africa which
curiously has a chapter on throughput without ever mentioning explicity
what it was. ;-( Nevertheless, the report has other useful things to say
about the use of cellular technologies for networking.
"Final report on a pilot project into the use of cell-data for connectivity
to two rural schools in South Africa"
Steve Song <[log in to unmask]>
Unganisha (Connectivity) Project <http://www.idrc.ca/unganisha>
International Development Research Centre
P.O. Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1G 3H9
Tel. +1 613 236 6163 x2268 Fax +1 613 567 7748